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Tesla names 2 to its board as part of an SEC settlement
[NEW YORK] Tesla added Larry Ellison, executive chairman and founder of the software giant Oracle, and a senior executive at Walgreens Boots Alliance to its board of directors, fulfilling a key provision of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The board added Mr Ellison, who bought 3 million shares of Tesla stock earlier this year, and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, who is in charge of human resources at Walgreens Boots Alliance, as independent directors Thursday, the company said in a securities filing Friday.
Tesla stock closed up 5.6 per cent Friday after the company announced the appointments.
In September, the SEC required Tesla to add two independent board members and an independent chairman to settle a securities fraud lawsuit the commission brought against the company and its chief executive, Elon Musk. Securities regulators brought the case after Musk said that he had secured funding for a private buyout of the company in August.
In November, Tesla named Robyn M Denholm chairwoman after Musk stepped down from that role, another requirement of the settlement. Mr Denholm was chief financial officer of Telstra, the dominant telecommunications company in Australia.
Mr Ellison founded Oracle in 1977 and became one of the wealthiest people in the world as the company expanded during the technology booms of the 1990s. In October, Mr Ellison defended Musk, whom he called a "very close" friend, at an Oracle corporate meeting with financial analysts.
Ms Wilson-Thompson spent 17 years in human resources at Kellogg, the cereal giant, before joining Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2010.
With Ms Wilson-Thompson's arrival, Tesla's board now includes three women. In addition to Denholm, the company's board includes Linda Johnson Rice, chairman and chief executive of Johnson Publishing Co.
The company's board includes several people who have close personal and professional ties to Musk, including Musk's brother, Kimbal; Brad Buss, who served as chief financial officer of SolarCity, the solar-panel maker run by Musk's cousin that Tesla acquired in 2016; Ira Ehrenpreis, an investor in SpaceX, Musk's rocket company; and Antonio Gracias and Steve Jurvetson, who are both directors of SpaceX.
The SEC is still examining Tesla's claims about production goals. Since the settlement Musk has continued to spar with the agency, calling it the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" on Twitter, and saying in a recent interview on the CBS programme "60 Minutes" that he does not respect the SEC.